|Review by Manitario||posted 10-30-2011 08:35 PM||8814 views||4 times favorited||13 comments|
Finally, after many months of moving, new shop set, starting a new job, etc. I have got my Clearvue Cyclone up and running. I’ll run through a bit of my decision process leading to my purchase, then the installation, and finally its performance.
Decision I had an average setup; a 1.5hp canister DC connected to a short run of 6” pipe with 4” flex hose drops to each machine. The setup worked well to capture the chips from the jointer and planer, collect the shavings from the TS cabinet, and catch about 50% of the MS sawdust. What I wanted was the ability to improve my MS dust capture, and be able to have two 4” ports open at once (for the 2×4” ports on the bandsaw and the 4” port on the TS blade guard) without a huge hit to the suction. As well, my new shop would be almost twice the size, which would require longer duct runs, and the corresponding increase in DC capacity.
My starting point was a rough layout for the new shop; deciding where the tools would go, gave me a starting point for figuring out duct runs. This in turn allowed me to roughly calculate the amount of static pressure for the ducting. I calculated the maximum static pressure the DC would have to handle at the end of the longest duct run (convenient calculator on Bill Pentz’s site). This number gave me a starting point in deciding how large of a DC I needed.
My target CFM was at least 800 at the maximum static pressure for my ducting system. Basically all major DC manufacturers had cyclone units that fit these specs. Without going into exhaustive detail of what I thought the pros/cons of each DC was, I narrowed my list to the Clearvue CV1800 or Penn State Industries 3.5HP Tempest. Some of my reasons for excluding Oneida, JDS, Grizzley were price/filter size/poor specs etc. In the end I went with Clearvue as the cyclone had slightly better higher CFM.
Most DC manufactures have some sort of graph that plots CFM vs. static pressure. This was the most important data in trying to decide on a new DC.
The Clearvue Experience The cyclone unit was shipped promptly, but there was a several week delay in shipping the filters as the supplier (Wynn Environmental) had some manufacturing “issues”. Unfortunately, the cyclone unit arrived broken and missing one of the pieces needed for setup. Clearvue quickly sent me a new unit and the missing piece though, and I was able to begin the long installation process. Theoretically, the cyclone could be installed over a weekend. It was relatively easy to assemble, and most of the instructions were straight forward (other than a poorly written section on installing the impeller). Installation is labour intensive though, all the parts must be assembled and the joints caulked. As well, I’d read a lot about how loud it was, and elected to build a closet to put it in to cut down on the noise. The other assembly issue is that the cyclone doesn’t come with a dust collection bin. The instructions have a detailed explanation about using a metal trash can for this; the space that I was installing the cyclone into would not accommodate the height of a trash can, so I ended up using a 30 gallon fiberboard drum. There is an great online community of CV owners on the Clearvue website where I got a lot of good ideas and help for installation.
Performance The first time I started it, the cyclone sounded like a jet engine. I was impressed and frightened by how loud and powerful it seemed, and hesitant to put my hand too close to the intake. My cheap sound meter measured it at 95 decibels 10 ft away with the door to the closet open, and 88 with the door closed (the closet is insulated with 3 1/2” of “Safe and Sound” soundproofing insulation and 1” of sound dampening foam). Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how well it performs. With the 4” cabinet port and the 4” Shark Guard on my TS I get close to zero sawdust ejected. As well, with a simple enclosure around my MS with a 6” port, the dust capture is > 90%.
Overall I’m happy with my choice, but I did have moments during the installation where I’d wished I’d bought the Penn State cyclone and not had to do so much of the installation myself. The upside to installing it yourself is that there is a lot of flexibility to the configuration of the DC (again, the forums on the CV website offer some interesting alternate installation examples). I would buy CV again, after using it for awhile I can’t imagine having a DC that performs better. Update: Here are a few pics of the DC hood setup I made for the MS. It looks like crap, but it works fairly well. It was a challenge trying to design something that would accomodate the rails on the SCMS. The advantage to the small 8 1/2 Makita MS is that its small footprint allows me to move the DC port in closer to the saw. Currently the port is 6” but I’m thinking of changing the port to 4” and adding a 2nd port to the back of the hood to improve air flow.
-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil